Georgia calls for action at Capitol protest

A mother wears red in solidarity with the group "Moms Demand Action." Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Over 1,500 protesters gathered outside of the Georgia Capitol on Feb. 21, 2018 to protest for stricter gun laws in the wake of the Parkland massacre. The protesters were mostly mothers and grandmothers representing the organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They protested outside until around 11:30 a.m., and then entered the golden domed building to bring their claims to representatives, at the time breaking from session.

Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Jake Busch, a senior at Chamblee Charter High School, was present at the protest and took an active part in meeting with representatives.

“We are standing in support of common-sense gun legislation being passed here in the Georgia General Assembly. We want to make our representatives aware that us as young people and also moms, parents around the country and specifically here in Georgia fighting to end the killing and end the violent and to prevent the bloodshed,” Busch said.

The protesters broke off into groups based on their legislative district to try and reach their respective representative. They soon gained an audience with Rep. Micah Gravley who represents the district 67 of Douglasville.

Gravley said that even though he’s for firearm safety and cared about the safety of children in schools, he still promotes the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a weapon. One of the protesters asked Gravley if “there was some kind of legislation being considered that would make it easier to carry a gun without a permit.”

“That’s a bill I’m working on,” Gravley told the group. “You don’t have to have a permit to carry. If you’re a law abiding citizen, you can pass a background check, you can carry a firearm.”

Rep. Micah Gravley, state representative for district 67, addresses members of the group “Moms Demand Action.”
Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

But, Gravley said, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to stop guns from getting in the hands of wrong people.

“From a prosecutor standpoint, from a solicitor standpoint, if you ain’t supposed to have a gun by God I don’t want you to have a gun,” Gravley said.

And as for metal detectors as a measure for safety, Gravley said they’re a waste of money. He said there’s no benefit of having metal detectors if they remain unmanned by a security guard, and would even feel comfortable removing the existing ones from the Capitol.

He also said metal detectors at schools were a waste of money if they remain unmanned by a security guard. After making his statement, Busch asked him if metal detectors should be taken away at the Capitol building.

“I would be in favor of that. I got a bill that would allow everybody in the Capitol to be able to carry a firearm,” Gravley said.

Protests are continuing in the next couple of months with a march on Washington planned for March 24 and a high school walk-out day scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine massacre.


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